22 Feb 2018
- By Junhan B. Todiño – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
YU Xin and his girlfriend Zhao Tian Jiao own businesses in Tokyo, Japan. Two years ago, they visited Saipan to enjoy a tropical environment in the Pacific. They said they were inspired by the island’s beauty and decided to bring their family and friends and “tie the knot” here.
“We love Saipan very much and wanted to get married and spend our honeymoon on this tropical island,” Xin said.
A year ago, they made wedding plans and arranged for accommodations on Saipan.
They logged onto Airbnb which operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for short-term lodgings in apartments or homestays.
It was the Lunar New Year season when they arrived here on Feb. 17. They chose for their lodgings a 4,000-square-meter residence in Kanat Tabla which, according to the Airbnb advertisement, had a “very attractive ambiance with a huge garden, 13 bedrooms, eight bathrooms, five living rooms, a laundry room, kitchen and all other amenities a hotel could offer.”
With Yu Xin and Zhao Tian Jiao were their parents, other family members and close friends.
All 22 of them were very excited as they entered the large house in Kanat Tabla. However, once they got inside, excitement turned into disappointment. Fourteen of them moved out that same day, leaving Xin and Jiao and their close family members in the house.
They wanted a refund of their accommodation fee, but the bed-and-breakfast-business operator, “Emma,” who is also Chinese, instead offered a 20 percent discount.
“It was so horrible,” Jiao said, referring to the house. She said they were trapped in an uncomfortable environment and could not find hotel rooms on island.
Xin showed this reporter the “beautiful and stunning pictures” of the house they saw in the online advertisement. “The hallways, kitchen, rooms, and everything were ‘photoshopped,’ ” he noted.
Xin showed the broken door to the dirty and unattended bathroom, the soggy bed due to a leaking roof, the waterless and broken faucet in the bathroom, a broken gas range, the soiled closet, the colonies of ants in the mattress, the cabinet and in the corners of the rooms.
Xin said they had to buy butane canisters in order to cook their meals.
Xin’s auntie, Wang Xi Yan, said there was no water in the bathroom.
Zhen Zhijian, Xin’s mother, said she fell from her small bed and was bitten by ants.
Zhijian said she spent a day trying to get rid of some of the mess in the house.
The only beautiful thing they experienced was the couple’s wedding day on Feb. 19 that was arranged by Discover Saipan at Mariana Resort.
Jiao said they are also grateful to Discover Saipan for hosting a party at LaoLao Bay Resort
The couple is planning to leave Saipan this weekend. Xin said they have consulted a lawyer to look into the possibility of suing Emma.
“They ruined our holiday,” Jiao said, adding the she cried all the time because she “lost face” in front of her family members and friends.
Xin said they will file a complaint in order to stop bed-and-breakfast operators from deceiving and abusing their clients.
Jiao said they wanted to forgive Emma because they didn’t want any trouble. All they wanted was to enjoy the natural beauty of the island and the hospitality of the local people, she added.
“But she [Emma] was so rude and she didn’t even apologize.”
Asked for comment, Emma said she was willing to give the couple a discount. She said she was paid just $300.
According to Xin, they paid more than $800 including a $250 security deposit.
Emma said she has a permit from the zoning office to operate a bed-and-breakfast business. She said she has been operating it for more than a year now.
The zoning office says it has not issued a permit for a bed-and-breakfast operation in Kanat Tabla.
“That’s a residential village and a bed-and-breakfast business there should apply for a conditional use application,” a zoning staff member said.
Roy Santos and Victor Ada, whose homes are located beside Emma’s place, said “there are lots of Chinese tourists coming in and out of that house. They drive fast and are not mindful of the children playing in the area. We have reported this to the Department of Public Works and the zoning office. They [government agencies] should look into this case and investigate.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/102435-saipan-accommodations-disappoint-tourist-couple